For Sale

Grizzly Ranch

$29,000,000 Walden, CO 9,286± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Unquestionably one of the most well-known legacy ranches in northern Colorado, Grizzly Ranch combines exceptional ranching and recreational attributes on 9,286± deeded acres plus 13,400± BLM leased acres. The ranch is located approximately 10 minutes from the quaint mountain town of Walden and 45± minutes from the popular resort town of Steamboat Springs. Named after Grizzly Creek which meanders for five-plus miles through the ranch, the Grizzly Ranch is a well-watered, contiguous ranch that offers great working ranch production values and outstanding recreation. The ranch also contains seven miles of Little Grizzly Creek, and the confluence of Little Grizzly and Grizzly Creeks is the beginning of the famous North Platte River, which flows for another four-plus miles on the ranch. With over 16 miles of creeks and the river, the ranch offers tremendous brown and rainbow trout fishing and the opportunity to make additional stream improvements. The ranch runs a well-balanced hay and grazing operation. Productive hay meadows are irrigated with senior water rights and an extensive ditch system that provides irrigation water for over 4,700 acres. The current owner rates the ranch at 1,000 pairs annually plus 400-500 yearlings and they are producing more than 3,500 tons of quality mountain hay annually. There is an excellent set of first-class operating improvements and outbuildings consisting of multiple sets of working facilities and numerous Morton structures. This is the first time that the ranch is being offered with the seller’s valuable mineral rights, which have generated significant royalty payments from oil and gas production.

Just the Facts

  • Includes seller mineral rights that have resulted in significant monthly royalty payments
  • 9,286± deeded acres and 13,400± BLM leased acres
  • Scenic North Park Mountain views in every direction
  • More than 4,700 irrigated acres with senior water rights and extensive hay production
  • Very nice sale barn, offices, and outbuildings
  • Six modest homes, 33 livestock sheds, machine shops, and equipment sheds
  • 11,250± square foot calving barn
  • 19,000± square foot sale barn or event center
  • Tremendous set of working facilities, including truck and livestock scales
  • Miles of pipeline, extensive stock tanks, and numerous stock dams
  • Multiple sets of working facilities
  • Tremendous fly fishing for brown and rainbow trout on over 16 miles of creeks and the river
  • Four ponds
  • Pronghorn antelope, mule deer, moose, and elk are found on the ranch
  • Income can also be generated from gravel, water sales, and event hosting on the ranch
  • Livestock and equipment are not included in the sale of the ranch

Broker's Comments

Rarely does a ranch of this caliber come on the market with income producing mineral rights to boot! This ranch is truly a diverse operation with diverse income sources. A tremendous production cattle and hay ranch coupled with tremendous fishing on 16-plus miles of creeks and river, you will be hard pressed to find anything else on the market anywhere that fits this model.

Learn about the locale

Location

The Grizzly Ranch is located in the headwater’s region of the famous North Platte River, an area known as North Park or Jackson County. North Park is an anomaly in Colorado – it remains a pristine and relatively undeveloped ranching and recreational paradise, with good access and proximity to resort areas. Grizzly Ranch is conveniently located adjacent to paved County Road 14 between Steamboat Springs and Walden. 

Locale

The ranch is just 10 minutes to the quaint western town of Walden, which has most necessities, and only 45 minutes to Steamboat Springs with all the services and amenities of Ski Town USA®. From the ranch it is about 70 miles to I-70 at Silverthorne, Winter Park Ski Resort, Laramie, and Saratoga, Wyoming. Denver and Fort Collins are each approximately two and a half hours away. The ranch is 15-minutes to the Walden-Jackson County Airport, which has a 5,901 foot by 75 foot asphalt runway and jet fuel. In case of inclement weather, there are instrument approaches at five other airports within a 50-mile radius. Full commercial service is 70 miles away at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, just west of Steamboat Springs.


North Park is a large inter-mountain basin surrounded by majestic mountain ranges. The Park Range and Mount Zirkel Wilderness to the west, the Medicine Bow Mountains and Rawah Wilderness to the east and the Rabbit Ears Range and Never Summer Mountains to the south frame the North Park basin. Plentiful meandering streams are interspersed on the basin floor and eventually come together to form the headwaters of the North Platte River. As the North Platte gains strength, it flows north into Wyoming. The Continental Divide makes up the south and west boundaries of Jackson County. The surrounding mountains are in the 11,000 foot to 13,000 foot range.


Jackson County consists of 1,620 square miles and has a population of about 1,500. Walden is truly one of the last historic ranching communities left in the entire state. North Park has a unique natural beauty and a down-home Western atmosphere. Just to the west of North Park, Steamboat Springs is still a Western town at heart, but has also embraced winter sports becoming a world-class community and year-round destination for guests from all over the world. 

Climate

With a base elevation of just over 8,000 feet, The Grizzly Ranch exhibits the attractive characteristics of the Colorado mountain climate; warm sunny days with low humidity and cool nights. Average summer temperatures are in the upper 70’s, with lows in the 40’s. Winter typically means temperatures ranging from the teens at night to the 20’s during the day. Snow will accumulate during the winter months, though the valley traditionally receives quite a bit less than the surrounding mountain ranges. Annual precipitation for the main ranch is estimated at 13 inch based on the ranch’s location midway between Spicer (14.6 inches) and Walden (11.5 inches). Elevation of the 780± acre Upper Grizzly unit ranges from about 8,400 feet to 9,100 feet. Its elevation and location, closer to the mountains of the Park Range, give it a cooler and wetter climate than the main ranch.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

The Grizzly Ranch consists of approximately 9,286± deeded acres. The ranch currently leases 13,400± acres of adjacent land from the BLM. The BLM leases allow for an allotment of 832 AUM’s. The seller is willing to give up their interests in these leases and facilitate the transfer of these to the new owner. These lease transfers are naturally subject to approval from the BLM.

Deeded Acres: 9,286±
BLM Leased Acres: 13,400±
Total Leased Acres: 13,400±
Total Acres: 22,686±

Additional Information

The ranch is currently unencumbered and has no conservation easements. 


The owner has also been able to produce income from water leasing, gravel sales, and special events on the ranch. The most revenue was in 2019 from water and gravel sales, resulting in $445,000 in water and $45,000 in gravel revenue. The mineral lessee also pays $50,000 a year in lease payments for their production facility. In addition, significant income is produced annually from hay sales. 

Improvements

The heart of The Grizzly Ranch is at the Grizzly headquarters, where there is an impressive array of improvements for the cattle operation. These are for the most part, relatively newer, state-of-the-art facilities for the breeding, care, feeding, and sale of the ranch’s livestock. The buildings were constructed by Morton and are thoughtfully designed to facilitate efficient and injury-free handling of cattle or horses.

The 19,000 square foot sale barn/event center is a showcase for the ranch operation. It features a very nice reception area, offices, commercial kitchen, sale arena, outside pens, staging, and working areas. The sale barn has a set of pens made up of gates allowing for configuration of the working area to suit operations. It has electrical outlets throughout the facility and from the ceiling giving one unlimited access to electricity for any purpose.

The working area also contains a chute and lead-up to work cattle prior to going thru the sale ring. The staging area for the sale arena has a herringbone system that allows up to six cattle in the alley, separated and ready to enter the sale ring, facilitating quick and efficient cattle sales without injury or hold-ups. Shipping pens behind the sale barn are set up in a two pensalley-two configuration for ease of handling large numbers of cattle in and out of the sale barn. These pens are connected to a set of alleys designed for pick-up with trailer load-out pens so four trailers can be loaded out at the same time for immediate shipping.

The 12,500 square foot calving barn has 48 individual stalls made of portable panels for easy assembly and breakdown. Additionally, the barn can be used as an indoor arena during the winter months. The calving barn also has a one-bedroom apartment and two separate vet rooms with stainless steel counters and cabinets. Both vet rooms have refrigerators and sinks as well as one dishwasher for cleaning calving and embryo equipment.

There are 13 large pens, 32 smaller pens, and 33 Morton cattle sheds designed to handle 1,000± cattle with feed and working alleys. Each pen has good gates at all four corners. The 10,000 square foot shop has a 2,400 square foot heated working area with a small office and upstairs breakroom for employees. The 2,400 square foot working facility is heated and has adjustable chute sides throughout the alleys and a hydraulic chute with scales. The system was designed with the help of Mark J. Deesing, who works with Temple Grandin, Ph.D., a renowned designer of livestock-handling facilities. Outside the working facility are six pens and two alleys, making it extremely easy to work a large number of cattle.

There are four 6,000-gallon cisterns for a total of 24,000 gallons of dedicated water storage for the pens and facilities. The cisterns are fed from an artesian well pumping system with a pump down the casing. The system is housed in a heated pump house, and all of the cattle pens have heated water tanks throughout the facility. There is an additional location with modest improvements, including several homes, garages, barns, shops, pens, and corrals. Several of the homes on the ranch could be utilized as an owner’s home or could be used for temporary housing while a new owner’s home was constructed.

Water Resources

The Grizzly Ranch benefits from major live-water resources. The ranch is bisected by Little Grizzly Creek and Grizzly Creek which flow through the ranch for approximately seven and five miles, respectively, then combine to form the North Platte River. The North Platte meanders through the ranch for another four and a half miles bringing the total stream channel distance to 16.5± miles. A considerable portion of the water produced by the upper North Platte River watershed flows through this ranch. The ranch has historically utilized its significant irrigation rights but underutilized the recreational opportunities associated with all the live water.

Water Rights

To complement its vast live water resources, the ranch benefits from an incredible amount of irrigation water. The ranch maintains a total of 231.88± cfs of water rights from a variety of sources. These rights include several very senior priority rights from the Grizzly Creeks and the North Platte River, including the number one right on Little Grizzly Creek and the number two right on Grizzly Creek. According to the State of Colorado Division of Water Resources, the land irrigated by the ranch-owned water rights totals 4,700± acres. 

Mineral Rights

The current owner owns a portion of the mineral rights and is offering them with the sale of the property. Current minerals production results in a sizable check every month, and there is anticipated upside from additional planned wells.  

Taxes

Property taxes are estimated to be $59,956.92 annually based upon past years.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Fishery Resources

The North Platte River is known as one of the West’s best fishing rivers. The headwaters of the North Platte are literally on the ranch, where Grizzly Creek meets the Little Grizzly forming the North Platte. The North Platte River ultimately drains the entire North Park Basin. The North Platte and the Grizzly Creeks are predominately wild brown trout fisheries. In addition to naturally reproducing browns, an angler will typically catch a few rainbows and sometimes a cutthroat or brookie. Although two-thirds of Jackson County is public land, the majority of the land along the North Platte and its tributaries is privately owned. This creates a fishery that benefits from relatively low impact compared to public access areas. Because of this, the river has a healthy, self-sustaining population of trophy brown trout.


The river and creeks on the ranch are generally meandering meadow streams with a high degree of sinuosity. These are low-gradient steams easily fished from the bank or by wading. Bank vegetation is characterized by grass interspersed with willows and a few cottonwoods. Fish can be found nearly anywhere, but the bigger ones tend to congregate in the deeper water and corner pools. These trout have rarely seen an artificial fly will attack a dry fly or streamer without a second look. 

Wildlife Resources

North Park is well-known for its abundant wildlife. Moose, elk, mule deer, antelope, black bear, and a variety of birds and waterfowl can be found on the ranch and in the vast neighboring public lands. The ranch’s 16.5± miles of creeks and river, together with the associated riparian and floodplain areas, irrigated meadows, and sagebrush grasslands provide excellent habitat for fish, waterfowl, and animals. Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge, located just east of the ranch, is best known for its populations of moose and waterfowl, but is also home to at least 198 bird species, 32 mammal species, nine fish species and six reptile and amphibian species. Many of the same wildlife found in the nearby Wildlife Refuge also live on or visit The Grizzly Ranch. For hunters, very nice mule deer and antelope are found throughout the ranch.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The Grizzly Ranch has been run as a balanced hay and mountain grazing operation for years. The current ranch owner has been running 1,000 pairs plus 500 yearlings and produces approximately 3,500 tons of quality mountain hay annually. Currently utilized for cattle, the ranch and improvements are also well suited for an equine operation.

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